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Name one thing (besides handsome faces and serious acting chops) that almost all of Hollywood's leading men — think Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bradley Cooper — have in common. When done right, it’s not so obvious, and a lot more subtle than you might think. Yup, we’re talking sun-kissed, tanned skin.
While bronzed skin lends most complexions a healthy glow, the fact is that tanning under the sun’s rays or worse, under a tanning bed, is a serious grooming don’t. Beyond aging you with deep wrinkles and ugly sunspots, prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to cancer. Another scary fact: skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the United States.
Here’s where Sophie Evans, a celebrity “skin finisher” for the popular self-tanning brand St. Tropez, comes to the rescue. She’s tended to the faces and bodies of some of the world’s most famous men, lending them a healthy-looking glow with none of the sun’s nasty side effects.
While she can’t reveal the names of her celebrity clients, she can reveal why guys are such fans of self-tanning products. “A self-tan will instantly make you look slimmer and more defined,” says Evans. “It’s all to do with shaping and shadowing.” Even better? The products can be used on the body, “to highlight muscle and curve lines, making you look even slimmer and toned!”
So, what are you waiting for? Here, Evans reveals her expert tips on how to get your healthiest-looking skin at home.
Evans says it’s crucial to exfoliate and shave before you apply tanning products, so your skin is in “great condition.” Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub enlists both physical and chemical exfoliation with micro-scrubbing beads and salicylic acid. The resulting extra-smooth skin guarantees an even application of product, along with a streak-free finish.
To continue the smooth streak, make sure you moisturize all over, too. Evans emphasizes to not neglect what she considers “severe dry skin areas, like your elbows, knees, wrists, and feet.” Yes to Coconut Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion makes body moisturizing a breeze with its lightweight, all-natural, spray-on formula that absorbs in a snap, and leaves no greasy residue.
“Choosing the right products” is another key to a believable-looking glow, according to Evans. To make sure a certain product will be flattering on your skin, she recommends patch testing an area of approximately 3cm x 3cm, to get a realistic sense of how the shade will look on your face and the rest of your body. Go any smaller, and “the tiny patch may appear darker than it would normally appear.”
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To protect your hands from staining during the application process, use an applicator mitt, like this one from St. Tropez. In addition to preventing staining, the mitts also ensure that the product “can glide on effortlessly and without force,” says Evans. Most importantly, “refrain from heavy sweating and gym sessions during the development time of the self-tan,” since excessive perspiration and fitted clothing can cause certain areas to fade faster than others.
For daily maintenance and to extend the life of your tan, enlist a gradual self-tanner like the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body or the St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower.
Both products help with “restoring a glow that sweat and excess rubbing of the skin may have taken away,” says Evans.